Barking at the Moon Festival

Barking at the Moon Festival
Fultondale, Alabama
Sunday October 28, 2012

Whiskey and some of his admirers enjoying some off leash time at the dog park.

I’ve never been to doo dah day. But I hear it’s crazy. I know a lot of people enjoy it and have a lot of fun, but I hear about the crowds and the impossible parking and the craziness and I think, do I want to brave that? Luckily, now I won’t have to. We have our own North Jefferson version of it thanks to the great people at the Fultondale Bark Park. (Check them out at their face book page! http://www.facebook.com/FultondaleBarkPark)

Whiskey has only been to one festival before. It went fine but I definitely had to time my trips to booths well (when other people weren’t there) and I had to kind of walk away from crowds. Not because Whiskey would hurt anyone, but because he doesn’t understand personal space. Everyone is game. Everyone wants to pet him, right? Well, no. But he thinks so. So he approaches everyone and everything with the same gusto and distracted charisma that makes me love him so much. And actually he doesn’t care if you pet him. He really just wants to smell you… and this can make some people nervous. I mean, he is a huge black dog after all. A bit intimidating to people who maybe don’t like dogs. So random festivals are a bit tricky, but dog festivals? Bring it on! Technically everyone there should be a dog lover right?? Right?

There were so many entries in the parade! We got there just in time to see it. This is just the beginning of the line it stretched waaaaay around 🙂 There were plenty of dogs costumed and not. So no pressure to dress up if you want to enter next year!

So Whiskey’s distraction is a bit hard to describe. He displayed this at the Barking at the Moon Festival as well. It’s like he’s so overcome with all the things that he can’t look at anything for more than a second. He’s constantly moving, changing direction, looking everywhere. When people would try to pet him he’d give them attention for a second then duck his head away as he turned to look at something else, leaving them trying to pet him again only for him to dodge away to smell or see something else at the last second before impact.  I describe him apologetically to people who don’t know him- as a “Very ADD dog.”  But strangely if there’s not a lot of distraction when he’s met new people they have often described W as “very calm.” And I’m always like “Really!? You think so?” Funny stuff, how other people can perceive your dog.

The skunk costume was my favorite! Look for the wee doggie towards the right bottom. Loved!!

Anyway, enough rambling, you came here to know about the festival. Lots of people AND pets in costumes. Both! I wish I’d dressed up! The parade was a lot of fun. People and dogs of all types and ages. I was really shocked at the turn out. Great crowd for the first event. TONS of booths to explore and talk to. Lots of dog lovers. Lots of dog treats. It was truly a wonderful event that I cannot wait to go to next year. This year we scored one free dog toy (a squishy ball W wouldn’t touch there but has played with a bunch at home), severaaal free treats (yummy in his tummy), bought two dogeriffic t-shirts, entered a raffle for swank dog food, set up to buy a jogging belt system thingimajig from Alabama Siberian Husky Rescue (who were shocked I used a retractable leash with a husky for *anything* to which I assured them he’s broken many a leash in his 3 years on this earth), and bought a new DogMom bumper sticker for my truck (sweet!). And we just chipped a bit at the tip of the iceberg in our fleeting time there. Next year I plan to stay longer and have even more fun- including a costume for us both I hope!

I also loved that April M. who runs the Alabama Siberian Husky Rescue mentioned above, told us that she was positive Whiskey was a husky and not a mix. She’s evaluated tons of dogs in her time. This makes one breeder, and one head of a breed specific rescue that really thing W is a full blooded dog. Look, it doesn’t matter to us in the end one way or the other, but it is neat to think about and we would love to know, just because knowing the breed can help you in training with breed specific things, as well as giving you a medical heads up for breed specific problems that might pop up. Plus, it’s just fun to guess about his heritage. We had a gazillion people stop us to ask “what kind of dog is he!?” and I always hate never being able to 100% tell them. I’d love to be able to proudly say “He’s a Husky!” or “He’s a husky/australian shepherd mix!” etc.

My secret How-To-Tip: Park at black creek park to avoid the small parking area or parking on the street. If you park at Black Creek Park here is how you make your way to the Dog Park. From the parking lot you walk towards the senior center on the trail. You will see where the trail branches up to your right onto what was the old rail bed (tracks removed now). Follow that trail bed under hwy 31 till you exit about ¼ or less of a mile onto a road. Directly across the road is the dog park (you’ll have to turn left onto the road and then right down a walkway into the park). Trust me! This will save you a parking headache. And plus, this means you’ll get in most of your daily walk on the way to the park! Bonus.

Hope everyone can get out and go to the next one next year. They’ve already picked a date! October 27, 2013 We hope to see you there!

Want your fix now? Visit their fb page and look at this photo album from this years event. There are some truly beautiful dogs in the pics. Maybe get some inspiration for next years costume while you’re there too!

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